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Facebook surveillance oversteps boundaries

Facebook surveillance oversteps boundaries
© Marcin Winnicki | Dreamstime.com

Everyone knows that Facebook tracks every like, share and status update. But that's not as far as the accusations go against the social media giant. In fact, it wasn't all that long ago that a professor from the University of South Florida claimed the Facebook app was using her microphone to listen in on her conversations for targeted advertising. (Click here to read the full story.)

Collecting data for the purposes of placing relevant ads is one thing. But what if Facebook was tracking you to determine your emotional health, and then passing that information along to advertisers? Wouldn't that make you feel less comfortable?

While pitching potential advertisers, Facebook has reportedly admitted the type of conclusions that can be drawn based on the data the company mines through each day. A top bank in Australia, for example, was told that the data could identify how a person was actually feeling in that particular moment.

Teenagers should be especially worried since officials from the Australian bank also reported they were told Facebook could tell when teens felt insecure or worthless, and when they needed a boost of confidence.

According to Facebook, this data is only meant to provide advertisers with more insight into how Facebook users choose to express themselves. The company also maintains that this information is excluded from its ad targeting tools. But, can we trust that? Especially when Facebook has already openly admitted to running psychological experiments on its users, such as the secret study it conducted on nearly 700,000 account holders back in 2012.

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